ICC Signs Open Letter Calling for an End to US Sanctions on Iran During the Coronavirus Epidemic

The Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) is proud to join hundreds of academics, experts, and civil society activists who signed this open letter that calls for an end to US sanctions on Iran during this global pandemic. Find below the letter. You may also find it at this link.

This week, confirmed infections of the rapidly spreading COVID-19 surpassed 586,000 worldwide and global deaths rose past 26,800 as the outbreak continues to spread across the Middle East, Europe, and North America. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), worldwide deaths have tripled while global cases have more than doubled in the past week.

Iran is among the hardest-hit countries by the pandemic, with over 2,300 deaths and 32,000 cases of infections from the COVID-19. It is also the only country that is dealing with this level of cases while living under severe economic sanctions.

In 2018, the Trump administration imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran and implemented a policy of maximum pressure after withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231.

While on paper the US administration has provided humanitarian exemptions in its sanctions regime, reports from Iranian civil society, international aid organizations, and human rights groups including Human Rights Watch, show a different reality on the ground as US sanctions, including banking restrictions, have severely impacted Iranians’ access to medical equipment and essential medicine.

In recent weeks, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, and Pakistan have asked the U.S to ease sanctions on Iran during this unprecedented global pandemic. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has ignored these requests and instead have imposed even more sanctions on the country.

We believe that it is not only unjust to leave Iranian people alone in this global crisis, but is indeed a violation of Iranians’ inalienable rights to health and access to medical care. Furthermore, we believe that this pandemic is a shared global threat and it could only be defeated when all countries and people come together and support one another.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, call on all members of the United Nations Security Council to act in compliance with international law and UNSC resolution 2231 and to support Iranian people in their fight against this global pandemic.

We also urge the US lawmakers to pressure the Trump administration to immediately lift all sanctions that are impeding Iran’s response to the outbreak, including financial sanctions.

نامه روابط عمومی کنگره ایرانیان کانادا خطاب به صاحبان کسب و کارهای ایرانی-کانادایی


شرایط ویژه پیش آمده به دلیل شیوع ویروس کوید-۱۹ کسب و کارهای ایرانی-کانادایی‌ را با دشواری های بسیاری روبرو کرده است. این شرایط دشوار نه تنها مشکلات بسیاری را برای کارآفرینان ایرانی-کانادایی ایجاد میکند بلکه کارمندانی که در این کسب و کارها مشغول کار هستند نیز با مشکلات متعدد روبرو خواهند شد. کنگره ایرانیان کانادا اعتقاد دارد که حمایت از کسب و کارهای ایرانی-کانادایی به پویایی و پیشرفت جامعه ما کمک خواهد کرد.

کنگره ایرانیان کانادا از دولت کانادا و دولت های استانی میخواهد که با اختصاص بودجه ویژه و اضطراری اقدامات لازم را برای حمایت از کسب و کارهای کانادایی به ویژه کسب و کارهای کوچک انجام دهند.

در روزهای اخیر دولت فدرال و دولت های استانی برنامه خود برای اختصاص بودجه های ویژه و برخی اقدامات مثبت برای حمایت از بیزینس ها را اعلام کرده اند. کنگره ایرانیان کانادا از این اقدامات استقبال میکند اما حمایت از کسب و کارهای کوچک و کارمندان و کارگران نیاز به اقدامات بیشتر و اقدامات عملی و فوری دارد.

همچنین کنگره ایرانیان کانادا از کارآفرینان ایرانی-کانادایی و متخصصان و کارشناسان دعوت میکند که پیشنهادات خود را درباره راه های ممکن برای حمایت جامعه ایرانی از کسب و کارهای ایرانی-کانادایی در این زمان ویژه ارائه دهند. اولویت ما حفظ سلامت جامعه ایرانی-کانادایی و سلامت جامعه بزرگتر کانادا است. رعایت اصول و توصیه های بهداشتی مسئولان استانی و کشوری اولویت اصلی کنگره ایرانیان کانادا است. همزمان ای سی سی آماده بررسی راه کارهای پیشنهادی شما برای حمایت از بیزینس های ایرانی-کانادایی از طریق همکاری و حمایت جامعه ایرانی است.

لطفا پیشنهادات خود را همراه با اطلاعات تماس از طریق ایمیل برای ما ارسال کنید.

- روابط عمومی کنگره ایرانیان کانادا

ICC Asks Canada & Red Cross to Help Iran During COVID19 Crisis

Find below an email that the ICC 's President Soudeh Ghasemi sent to Canadian Government Ministers asking Canada to help Iran during the COVID19 crisis:


Kind Attention:

The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development

MP Rob Oliphant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ms. Janet Johnson, Vice President Philanthropy Canadian Red Cross 

I am contacting you on behalf of the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC), a non-profit, non-partisan, and non-religious organization, established in 2007, to advance the interests of the Iranian-Canadian community.

In recent weeks Iran has been severely impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak. The country has the third greatest number of deaths from the COVID-19 after China and Italy. According to the latest official statistics, Iran has confirmed 429 deaths and more than 10,000 cases of infections from this global epidemic. Iran has also been the main source of dozens of cases in countries including Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The concerning part is that some studies suggest that there are still many more unidentified cases in the country and the situation is expected to become even worse in the upcoming days. 

Iran has published a list of medical items and equipment it urgently needs which you can find attached to this email. Iran has communicated its list of requirements with the International Federation of Red Cross as well asking the international community for support in combating this COVID-19 outbreak in the country. Last week, some European countries along with the World Health Organization (WHO) have reportedly provided both technical and financial support to Iran.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his $1B COVID-19 package that included “ an additional $50 million to help vulnerable countries prepared for and respond to the virus, supporting efforts of the WHO and other partners.” We certainly believe that Iran is vulnerable and should meet the requirements to receive help and support from Canada. We urge the Canadian government to help Iran in its fight with this global pandemic.   

Last year, the ICC had a successful experience with the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) in the case of severe flooding in Iran. The federal government also provided aid through the Red Cross. Indeed, that is why we are reaching out again to explore ways in which we could help our government and Canadian Red Cross to, once again, provide support for the Iranian people in this time of emergency. Last time, the Government of Canada generously provided $250,000 to Iran through the International Federation of Red Cross and the CRC also launched a fundraising appeal to help flood victims in Iran. Based on the final report from the CRC, $150,000 was raised through this channel and was sent to Iran as part of the emergency assistance fund. 

We strongly believe there is an urgent need to take similar actions now and the ICC is fully prepared to help the government and the Canadian Red Cross in any way possible, especially when it comes to fundraising within the Iranian-Canadian community in Canada.



Soudeh Ghasemi


Iranian Canadian Congress

Letter from Iranian Canadian Congress to Justin Trudeau on 60th Day Since Flight 752

Find below a letter sent by ICC President Soudeh Ghasemi to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the 60th day since the Flight 752 tragedy:
Honourable Prime Minister Trudeau,
Today marks the 60th day since the tragedy of Flight 752, when Iranian armed forces shot down a passenger airplane and killed all on board, the vast majority of whom were from the Iranian-Canadian community.
We take this moment to recommit ourselves to transparency, accountability, and justice for the victims of Flight 752 and their families. We once again condemn the Iranian government providing false information to the public in the three days after the tragedy.
On this 60th day since the tragedy, we would like to call again for a full and transparent investigation of the tragedy based on international rules and regulations that are complemented with full oversight by responsible international bodies to confirm what exactly took place and to identify those responsible for this tragedy.
We appreciate the efforts of the Canadian government in supporting the families of the victims and urge the federal government to continue their pursuit of justice and transparency for the victims of flight 752. The families of the victims of this horrible tragedy must be supported in any way necessary including through restitution.
We also ask that the Canadian government works with its allies to mediate conflicts in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region in an effort to de-escalate tensions and prevent further loss of life. Canada must utilize its diplomatic capacity to stand for peace and support its citizens abroad.
Soudeh Ghasemi
Iranian Canadian Congress

ICC Demands Government Return Iranian-Canadians Trapped in Coronavirus-Stricken Iran

Below is a letter sent by the Vice President of the Iranian Canadian Congress to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and relevant Ministers, Critics and Shadow Ministers demanding help for Iranian Canadians stranded in coronavirus-stricken Iran

I am writing this letter to you as Vice-President of the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC), a non-profit, non-partisan, and non-religious organization dedicated to defending the interests of the Iranian-Canadian community, a population estimated at 300,000 across Canada.

As you are aware, the coronavirus epidemic is affecting numerous countries across the world and many countries are extracting their citizens from the countries that are most affected. Iran is the latest of these affected countries, with many neighbouring countries are shutting off travel and shutting their borders. Further, many airlines have stopped flying in and out of the country due to the outbreak in Iran.

Over the weekend, the ICC put out a call to the Iranian-Canadian community to contact us if they or their family is in Iran and unable to leave the country. 

The response was unexpected and massive, with dozens of Canadian citizens and residents contacting the ICC within the past 48 hours telling us that they are effectively stranded in Iran and are unable to leave by any means. 

As such, we ask that you immediately arrange for Canadians in Iran to leave the country and return directly to Canada, as Canada has done with Canadians stranded in like manner in China.

We look forward to receiving a response from your offices on this urgent matter.


Pouyan Tabasinejad

Vice President 

Iranian Canadian Congress

ICC Marks 40 Days Since Flight 752 Tragedy

Today marks the 40th day since the tragedy of Flight 752, when Iranian forces shot down a passenger airplane and killed all onboard, the vast majority of whom were from the Iranian-Canadian community. In Iranian culture, the milestone of 40 days is extremely important, and the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) at this moment consoles the rest of the Iranian-Canadian community in this difficult time.

We also at this moment recommit ourselves to transparency, accountability and justice for the victims of Flight 752 and their families. We once again condemn not only the reckless shooting of the plane itself, but also the Iranian government providing false information to the public in the three days after the tragedy.

On this 40th day since the tragedy, we once again call for a transparent and thorough investigation of the tragedy, with full cooperation and oversight by international bodies and independent investigators to confirm what happened and to identify those responsible.

The families of the victims of this horrible tragedy must be supported in any way deemed appropriate and desired by the families, including through restitution.

We also ask that the Canadian government works with allies to mediate conflicts in an effort to de-escalate tensions in the region to prevent further loss of life. Canada must stand for peace.

درخواست تعدادی از خانوادگان قربانیان پرواز ۷۵۲

برخی از اعضای خانواده های قربانیان پرواز ۷۵۲ با ما تماس گرفته اند تا متن زیر را با اعضای خود در میان بگذاریم. لطفا پس از خواندن متن آن را با اطرافیان خود نیز به اشتراک بگذارید تا خانواده درجه یک این قربانیان بتوانند به منظور همدلی و همکاری یکدیگر را پیدا کنند.

این دعوتنامه ای برای خانواده درجه یک قربانیان پرواز ۷۵۲ است تا بتوانند در یک گروه اختصاصی که توسط خود این خانواده ها ایجاد شده و نظارت می شود، با هم در تماس باشند. این گروه برای مراوده و سازماندهی موثر ثر میان خانواده ...ها و به منظور همدلی و همکاری ایجاد شده است.

در صورت تمایل لطفا اطلاعات زیر را به آدرس ایمیل planecrash.family@gmail.com ارسال کنید:
۱. نام
۲. شماره تماس
۳. آدرس ایمیل
۴. نام مسافر پرواز
۵. نسبت مسافر با شما

توجه: لطفا اطلاعات تماس تنها یک عضو از خانواده درجه یک (مادر، پدر، خواهر، برادر، فرزند دختر یا پسر)‌ مسافر را ارسال نمایید.

ICC Demands Government Action to Protect Iranian-Canadians at the US-Canada Border

This letter is following up to a previous correspondence sent on January 7th, 2020, in which we communicated our concerns over reports of discrimination against Iranian-Canadians at the US-Canada border.

In some cases, Iranian-Canadians have reported being held for over 30 hours without explanation and being asked racially charged questions. Some have reported being finger printed before being sent back to Canada and are worried about what the United States plans on doing with these finger prints.

There have also been reports from Canadian outlets about the United States government collecting DNA samples from those who are detained at the border, which can be very dangerous for all Canadians who wish to enter the United States, whether it be for business or personal reasons.

Since these initial reports, the accusations were confirmed and leaked memos have shown that individuals of Iranian descent, including Canadian citizens, residents, and international students, are being discriminated against by US border officials, subject to extra interrogation, and being detained, solely because of their national origin, as part of what seems to be formal government policy. 

We ask again that the Prime Minister's Office, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Public Safety immediately investigate this issue and lodge the strongest possible complaint with the Trump administration. We expect the Canadian government to stand up against this racial discrimination by Donald Trump's government, a discrimination not only violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but also international laws that prohibit discrimination based on national or ethnic origin.

Pouyan Tabasinejad 
Vice President 
Iranian Canadian Congress 

کنگره ایرانیان کانادا طومار نژاد پرستانه «درخواست خروج دانشجوهای ایرانی» را محکوم می‌کند

کنگره ایرانیان کانادا طومار نژاد پرستانه «درخواست خروج دانشجوهای ایرانی» را محکوم می‌کند.

هفته گذشته، ازرالوانت، از ربل مدیا، در پاسخ به سقوط هواپیمای ۷۵۲ اوکراینی طوماری نوشت که در آن از دانشگاه‌های کانادا درخواست میکند دانشجو‌های با تابعیت ایرانی را اخراج کند، این در حالیست که پس از سقوط هواپیمای اوکراینی درخشش و نقش دانشجوهای ایرانی در جامعه علمی کانادا پر رنگتر از قبل شد.

کنگره ایرانیان کانادا ضمن ابراز خشم و انزجار جامعه ایرانی-کانادایی از این طومار که توسط رسانه راست‌گ...رای افراطی به منظور فرصت طلبی و بهره برداری از فاجعه سقوط هواپیما منتشر شده، بار دیگر تاکید میکند: ایرانیان کانادا و بخصوص دانشجویان بین‌المللی ایرانی مشغول به تحصیل در کانادا، جز اصلی و تاثیرگذار در پیشرفت علم و دانش کانادا هستند، و ما تا اخرین لحظه از حقمان برای ماندن در کانادا ،خلاف سلیقه مهاجر‌ستیزانی مانند ازرا لاونت، دفاع خواهیم کرد.

بدین منظور کنگره ایرانیان کانادا با تمام قوا بدنبال یافتن گزینه مناسب برای پاسخ به تنفر پراکنی و تبعیض علیه ایرانیان میباشد، گزینه های پیش رو شامل درخواست برای بررسی تبعیض علنی علیه ایرانیان، و سوال از شبکه های اجتماعی برای در اختیار قرار دادن تریبون به نفرت پراکنی و مهاجر ستیزیست. بزودی اطلاعات بیشتر را در این امر مهم به اطلاع شما می‌رسانیم.

English Version Here



Last week, Ezra Levant of the notorious Rebel Media outlet created a petition that called for, among other things, the expulsion of Iranian international students from Canadian universities, supposedly in reaction to the downing of Flight 752.

The Iranian Canadian Congress expresses the anger that many Iranian Canadians feel toward Levant and his far-right outlet for trying to take advantage of a tragedy that has affected the Iranian Canadian community so deeply, as well as his effort to use this tragedy as an excuse to attack our community. Iranian Canadians, including and especially Iranian international students studying in Canada, are an integral part of Canadian society and we will defend our right to stay here in Canada despite the wishes of hateful people like Ezra Levant.

In this effort, the Iranian Canadian Congress is vigorously exploring its options in responding to this hateful and reprehensible action by Levant, including asking for social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to deplatform Levant and Rebel Media, and exploring whether Levant's actions constitute hate speech.

Please stay tuned for more information about this important case.

Persian statement here

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The Iranian Canadian Congress is a non-profit, non-partisan and non-religious organization established in 2007 to represent the interests of Iranian-Canadians and encourage their participation in Canadian society.

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